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Supreme Court Strikes Down Gay Sex Ban
AP via Yahoo ^ | 6/26/03 | AP

Posted on 06/26/2003 7:25:57 AM PDT by jethropalerobber

Supreme Court Strikes Down Gay Sex Ban

WASHINGTON - The Supreme Court struck down a ban on gay sex Thursday, ruling that the law was an unconstitutional violation of privacy.

The 6-3 ruling reverses course from a ruling 17 years ago that states could punish homosexuals for what such laws historically called deviant sex.

The case is a major reexamination of the rights and acceptance of gay people in the United States. More broadly, it also tests a state's ability to classify as a crime what goes on behind the closed bedroom doors of consenting adults.

Thursday's ruling invalidated a Texas law against "deviate sexual intercourse with another individual of the same sex."

Defending that law, Texas officials said that it promoted the institutions of marriage and family, and argued that communities have the right to choose their own standards.

The law "demeans the lives of homosexual persons," Justice Anthony M. Kennedy wrote for the majority.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Front Page News; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: gay; homosexual; lawrence; scalia; scotus; sodomy
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1 posted on 06/26/2003 7:25:57 AM PDT by jethropalerobber
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To: jethropalerobber
Party at Mark Morford's
2 posted on 06/26/2003 7:27:08 AM PDT by steve8714
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To: jethropalerobber
Wasn't this one a no brainer?
3 posted on 06/26/2003 7:29:32 AM PDT by ItsTheMediaStupid
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To: jethropalerobber
The law "demeans the lives of homosexual persons," Justice Anthony M. Kennedy wrote for the majority.

That is what laws against immorality are supposed to do! I predict that the next laws to be nullified will be those regarding sex workers/prostitution. After all, that is between two consenting adults in private as well.

May God have mercy on us!!!!!
4 posted on 06/26/2003 7:30:44 AM PDT by DonaldC
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To: ItsTheMediaStupid
Wasn't this one a no brainer?

Well, at least three people would disagree with you on that assesment.

5 posted on 06/26/2003 7:31:33 AM PDT by Michael.SF. ("I think I am going to vote Republican, the Democrats left a bad taste in my mouth" - M. Lewinsky)
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To: ItsTheMediaStupid
Wasn't this one a no brainer?

That's one way to put it.

6 posted on 06/26/2003 7:33:10 AM PDT by JohnnyZ (I barbeque with Sweet Baby Ray's)
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To: jethropalerobber
here is some more copy that was added:

Laws forbidding homosexual sex, once universal, now are rare. Those on the books are rarely enforced but underpin other kinds of discrimination, lawyers for two Texas men had argued to the court.

The men "are entitled to respect for their private lives," Kennedy wrote.

"The state cannot demean their existence or control their destiny by making their private sexual conduct a crime," he said.

Justices John Paul Stevens (news - web sites), David Souter (news - web sites), Ruth Bader Ginsburg (news - web sites) and Stephen Breyer (news - web sites) agreed with Kennedy in full. Justice Sandra Day O'Connor (news - web sites) agreed with the outcome of the case but not all of Kennedy's rationale.

Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist and Justices Antonin Scalia (news - web sites) and Clarence Thomas (news - web sites) dissented.

"The court has largely signed on to the so-called homosexual agenda," Scalia wrote for the three. He took the unusual step of reading his dissent from the bench.

"The court has taken sides in the culture war," Scalia said, adding that he has "nothing against homosexuals."

The two men at the heart of the case, John Geddes Lawrence and Tyron Garner, have retreated from public view. They were each fined $200 and spent a night in jail for the misdemeanor sex charge in 1998.

The case began when a neighbor with a grudge faked a distress call to police, telling them that a man was "going crazy" in Lawrence's apartment. Police went to the apartment, pushed open the door and found the two men having anal sex.

As recently as 1960, every state had an anti-sodomy law. In 37 states, the statutes have been repealed by lawmakers or blocked by state courts.

Of the 13 states with sodomy laws, four — Texas, Kansas, Oklahoma and Missouri — prohibit oral and anal sex between same-sex couples. The other nine ban consensual sodomy for everyone: Alabama, Florida, Idaho, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Utah and Virginia.

Thursday's ruling apparently invalidates those laws as well.

The Supreme Court was widely criticized 17 years ago when it upheld an antisodomy law similar to Texas'. The ruling became a rallying point for gay activists.

Of the nine justices who ruled on the 1986 case, only three remain on the court. Rehnquist was in the majority in that case — Bowers v. Hardwick — as was O'Connor. Stevens dissented.

A long list of legal and medical groups joined gay rights and human rights supporters in backing the Texas men. Many friend-of-the-court briefs argued that times have changed since 1986, and that the court should catch up.

At the time of the court's earlier ruling, 24 states criminalized such behavior. States that have since repealed the laws include Georgia, where the 1986 case arose.

Texas defended its sodomy law as in keeping with the state's interest in protecting marriage and child-rearing. Homosexual sodomy, the state argued in legal papers, "has nothing to do with marriage or conception or parenthood and it is not on a par with these sacred choices."

The state had urged the court to draw a constitutional line "at the threshold of the marital bedroom."

Although Texas itself did not make the argument, some of the state's supporters told the justices in friend-of-the-court filings that invalidating sodomy laws could take the court down the path of allowing same-sex marriage.

The case is Lawrence v. Texas, 02-102.

7 posted on 06/26/2003 7:33:40 AM PDT by jethropalerobber
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To: ItsTheMediaStupid
Nope. The precedent will help the court force state legalization of bestiality and other deviant sex acts as well, not to mention prostitution.
8 posted on 06/26/2003 7:34:51 AM PDT by The Old Hoosier (Right makes might.)
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To: jethropalerobber
Kennedy..."The law,demeans the lives of homosexuals persons."

I thought that homosexual's did that to themselves every day !
God help us...
9 posted on 06/26/2003 7:35:51 AM PDT by OREALLY
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To: jethropalerobber
The doors are now open for bigamy, prostitution, and incest!  Hooray!  I can hardly wait to tell my sister!

Owl_Eagle

”Guns Before Butter.”

10 posted on 06/26/2003 7:36:38 AM PDT by South Hawthorne ("It is unlikely there'll be a reduction in the wages of sin.")
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To: ItsTheMediaStupid
Wasn't this one a no brainer?

The decision was obviously made with no brains. On which side are you? (no pun allowed)

Cordially

11 posted on 06/26/2003 7:36:45 AM PDT by Diamond
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To: jethropalerobber
God, whats next?
Perverts everywhere ...................
12 posted on 06/26/2003 7:36:57 AM PDT by Tank-FL (Keep the Faith - GO VMI)
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To: jethropalerobber
Homosexuals demean the human race by their despicable practices.
13 posted on 06/26/2003 7:37:18 AM PDT by Hermann the Cherusker
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To: The Old Hoosier
Well, Texas for one doesn't criminalize bestiality anyhow (go figure) so I guess it won't matter one way or another..
14 posted on 06/26/2003 7:37:19 AM PDT by AntiGuv ()
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To: jethropalerobber
"unconstitutional violation of privacy"???

So what about the gambling laws that are violated behind closed doors? Voluntary sex between an adult and a minor? Dope?

15 posted on 06/26/2003 7:38:33 AM PDT by Taxbilly
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To: jethropalerobber
The dems are worried about "extreme" nominees and this "conservative" court?. What the heck for?
16 posted on 06/26/2003 7:38:58 AM PDT by Types_with_Fist
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To: jethropalerobber
The men "are entitled to respect for their private lives," Kennedy wrote.

Watch how fast "private" becomes public, enforced by the state in every sphere.

Cordially,

17 posted on 06/26/2003 7:39:15 AM PDT by Diamond
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To: jethropalerobber
Supreme Court Strikes Down Gay Sex Ban

They make a deodorant just for gay sex?

18 posted on 06/26/2003 7:39:58 AM PDT by tnlibertarian
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To: Owl_Eagle
You forgot polygamy, and a bunch of other perversions neither of us has even imagined.

Cordially,

19 posted on 06/26/2003 7:41:08 AM PDT by Diamond (What ever happened to the 10th Amendment?)
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To: jethropalerobber
Another piece of legislation from the SC bench?!

Where's the 10th Amendment?

20 posted on 06/26/2003 7:41:23 AM PDT by rvoitier (There's too many ALs in this world: Al Qaeda Al Jezeera Al Gore Al Sharpton Al Franken)
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